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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bigger issues presented with win

Utah States heart got stomped on again, this time by the Cougars of BYU. Riley Nelson lead BYU on the magnificent 9 play 96 yard drive with just over 2 minutes, to give BYU a come from behind 27-24win against in state rivals Utah State.

However, with the win came probably more questions than answers. Unfortunately.

Jake Heaps yet again proved ineffective. Heaps threw for 107 yards on 11-25 passing. Multiple overthrows and misreads again were his ultimate undoing, before he was taken out midway through the fourth quarter in favor of back-up, former Utah State Aggie, Riley Nelson.

It proved to be the best coaching decision on the season by the cougar coaching staff.

Nelson was masterful in his constructing of the comeback, using his running and scrambling abilities to make plays and make them when they were needed. His biggest play probably came with the 40 yard heave to Mckay Jacobsen to set up the final couple plays of the comeback. We all know what happens after that.

This is where the biggest issue of all comes up. Heaps was replaced by Nelson, who performs beautifully under pressure, and gets the comeback win. However, is this really the best option.

Now, I like many of you am getting very close to jumping off the Heaps bandwagon. However, this could damage not just Heaps, but BYU for the next couple seasons. Here's why.

A spot of luck handed BYU a comeback win
First off, the win though exciting, was relatively lucky. Yes, it was! Matthews was in the right place at the right time, on a poorly thrown ball by Riley Nelson. The pass was originally to a covered (though illegally) JJ Di Luigi. The tip landed right in Matthews lap, and again I repeat, luckily.

This fact must be remembered, because it should put in perspective how "good" Riley Nelson is. If anything should have happened, Matthews should have received the initial look, he had his man beat and was in the back of the endzone alone. But the throw went to Di Luigi, and luck smiled on the cougars.

Secondly, if sitting out while seeing your backup rally your team to a double digit comeback victory isn't enough to knock Heaps into reality, I dont know what will. The fire that Nelson brings is contagious on the sideline. However, it still hasn't seemed to have reached Heaps head.

When Heaps was spotted on the sideline, he did show a little support and not moping. However, he did not have a look for "personal accountability" on his face. He had the look of "the plays were not made" rather than "I didn't make the play." I think thats the attitude Heaps needs, is that of personal accountability. He just hasn't shown that.

This is the biggest problem of all. Heaps is a lot of talk, and sometimes rightfully so. However, as of late, he needs to shut his mouth and make some throws. Heaps was named the starter for a reason, he needs to show the fans why.

If Riley Nelson were to start, there could be some repercussions that I personally do not want to experience. Heaps confidence could be destroyed. A team that was once his to lose, was lost by him. This is the time for Heaps to have some good game, with teams like San Jose State, a weak Oregon State team, Idaho, Idaho State. The cupcakes on the schedule are a great opportunity for Jake Heaps to get some easy reads, and multiple completions. Having some drags routes across the middle with Jacobsen and a tight end could be huge. At the same time, JJ Di Luigi needs to be utilized a little more.

Another point being, that Heaps needs this for the team to be successfull next year. It is unlikely he will be permanently supplanted as the starter next year in favor of Riley Nelson, and that is even more reason for Heaps to start. Let him win the team back, and if he doesnt in the game, then Nelson can be the fire off the bench. I think that role fits Riley Nelson better than a starter.

BYU has to look to the near future of next year. They need to continue to start Heaps.

Now, while talking analysis with Big Bro last night after the comeback, an interesting topic came up. "The receivers seemed to show up after Nelson came in," Big Bro stated in dismay. I tend to think this is jumping ship a little bit. I think Nelson was simply throwing the ball where only his guys could make the catch. Something that Heaps has struggled with continually throughout the season.

Nelson's throws were by no means dead on target. However, only the cougar could have made the catch. Along with accuracy, Jake has had too many balls batted down by linemen this year, showing he is targeting one guy, instead of going through his reads and looking off safeties.

These reason seem to point for the replacement of Jake Heaps with Riley Nelson. But I promise this is not a good idea. For the future of Jake Heaps, and for the season at hand, Jake needs to start these next few games.

The only difference needs to be like Saturday, he needs to be held accountable for his performance. Or lack there-of.

1 comment:

  1. Well everyone has their opinion and mine is this.

    Has Heaps really truly earned it? Sure in practice when you know your not going to get hit you can excel, but the truth is Riley does take hits in practice so maybe the comparison here isn't really apples to apples.

    Would Heaps be practicing as well if he was getting hits in practice? I have a good hunch that he wouldn't and that Riley is probably performing better considering that fact he does take the hits.

    Heaps is a one man show and really hasn't had anyone challenge it. He doesn't seem to understand why he is where he is right now and he probably is feeling pretty bad or pretty pissed. Either way he doesn't deserve to play, not when he won't even take the hits to stop the opoenet from scoring on his interceptions.